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My Review of 2008

Date: 2008
Submitted by: Peter Cooper

A review of 2008

This is just a wee selective account of my climbing highlights for 2008. I hope it can provide you with a bit of inspiration for next year, but I’d also like to know what other club members have been up to; so go on submit your own climbing review of 2008. 

4Th Culdaff Climbfest 2008 Once again, there was a great turn out and plenty of climbing was had. The Saturday night saw some great drinking feats and some, equally, great hangovers. People did note the lack of a T-shirt this year, so we must try to make amends in 2009. I must, once again, thank the obliging young lady, up from Dublin, who kindly stripped her clothes off for a 2nd time (!) to go for a 2nd swim in the Atlantic(!!),to retrieve Alan Tees’ inflatable from Skildren Mor. Strange how I don’t remember what I climbed that day, but such selfless acts of kindness linger in the memory, No I don’t have any photos! I can hardly wait for The Glen Colmcille Climbfest 2009, who knows what fun may occur (a nude Geoff Thomas displaying deep-water soloing technique, hmm on 2nd thoughts…).


Alt na Inneoir, Inishowen If you’ve ever wondered if there’s any climbing on the skyline cliffs above and beyond Brasil Rock, I can confirm that there is now. New routes info, access details and a photo-topo to be submitted soon.

 Tor Mor, reportedly, Ireland’s largest Sea Stack saw its 1st ascent by a team of 4 Colmciller’s, following a 12 mile approach via Arrain Mor. Full Report, in Iain Miller’s highly engaging style, can be found on the website’s logbook, complete with a ‘smug buggers’ photo. Incomparable, one of the greatest days out ever. Cheers to Iain for organising it all: looking forward to more. Croc an Affrain is now Donegal’s premier roadside-mountain crag (Pushing Muckish’s parking to no.2).Following extensive work to put up a windfarm, on its east side, climbers now have the bonus of great access and parking, almost at the summit. You still have to endure a 1minute walk-in though. A campaign to get a scheduled donkey ride to the foot of the climbs must now be started, that or a cable car. It’s always wonderful to get a wee trip to Uaigh/Owey. A very fine crack line ‘Call Me Ishmael’ is now ‘in the bag’, after a year of it haunting me in my dreams. I’d spotted it the previous year but had to abandon an attempt to on-sight it. I’d got so drenched by a very sudden and extremely heavy Atlantic squall that the rainwater poured out of my jumper, whilst I tried to climb it; chalk wasn’t much help that day. A highly competent rescue was, almost, enacted by Dave Millar. There had to be a re-match. It was apt to climb it with Valli, as she was co-victim to the previous year’s soaking. I witnessed Dave Millar do a fine 2nd ascent of the climb ‘Blade’, which is on a stunning sea-stack. I opted not to top-rope it; once Dave and Iain Miller had abseiled-off. Truth is: I’d really wanted to be part of a team of three (suicidal?) idiots on top of the stack, to see if our combined weight could topple it Indiana Jones-style. It’s a pretty precarious looking stack. Oh well there’s always next summer, if its still standing! 

Happy Valli Crag, Sligo My first visit, don’t as me why I’ve taken so long to go. A great find, really good rock and so many good lines. My chauffeur - Alan Tees - and myself got the luxury package, floor space at Valli’s and we tucked into her famed plum tart (with cream). There was even an MCI meeting in Sligo that night, such are life’s riches; luckily the beers, afterwards, were great “mine’s a Hoe Gaarden”! Full crag details are on the website’s on-line guide.


Malin Head The autumn saw new lines climbed in some of the undeveloped parts. A ground-up ascent as the rain starts to fall on a smooth slab feels fairly full-on, even at HVS. Full details to follow.

 Thanks must go, again, to Paul Dunlop.  He continues to forge ahead with the long process of applying for funding for a new climbing wall for Derry. Once in place, the North West climbing scene will explode; we may even have to queue for routes! In October, at the club’s AGM, I was voted in as President of the Club, in the time it took me to ‘nip to the gents’ I’d been proposed, 2nd’ and voted in. “I’m absolutely certain it’s a mark of the deep love and respect my fellow climbers have for me”, surely there’s no hidden agenda (hmm). I do have some previous form in such a capacity as one time President of Leeds Met University’s CC. Thanks to those that voted for me. And “watch your ropes” to those who didn’t, I have a very sharp knife! Seriously though, I hope we can inspire folks that we’re a club with an active agenda, a healthy appetite for the rock (climbed and un-climbed) at home and abroad.  I also have another hat and that is Recruitment Officer. If you’re new to climbing or you need to ‘hook-up’ get in touch. Additionally, if you attend any of the Universities and Technical colleges based in Derry, Coleraine and Letterkenny, you’ll be aware there are no student climbing clubs, considering what’s on the doorstep this seems incredible: If you show to any of our meets you’ll be most welcomed, joining the club/MCI is optional but there are definite benefits.

Photo of Route